Frequently Asked Questions
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has set up a website: COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre
They also have frequently asked questions on:
The Manitoba Government has also announced help for businesses, including extending filing deadlines for Retail Sales tax, not charging interest or penalties for Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas, Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Public Insurance, not disconnecting Manitoba Hydro and Centra gas customers, relaxing MPI policy renewal and collection practices, not charging interest on Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries receivables and not charging interest on education property taxes.
The Manitoba Government has announced the Manitoba Gap Protection Program. The program provides a $6,000 in non-interest bearing forgiveable loan for small businesses not eligible for federal programs. Deadline to apply is July 31, 2020.
A new call centre to help businesses, not-for-profits and charities is being launched.
Check your finances to see what you can afford to pay. See if you qualify for any of the available programs. Try to negotiate with your landlord or the people you owe money to. If you reach an agreement, make sure it’s in writing.
The CECRA – Canada Emergency Rent Assistance was announced recently. CECRA will lower rent by 75% for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
Eligible commercial property owners will receive forgivable loans to cover 50% of rent for the months of April, May and June. The property owners have to agree to reduce their tenant’s rent by at least 75% and have to agree not to evict the tenant. The small business would pay the remaining 25% of the rent.
Eligible small businesses are those that pay less than $50,000 per month in rent, have temporarily stopped operating or have at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This includes not-for-profits and charities.
CECRA is accepting applications as of May 25. You can apply here: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business
This program helps businesses access financing. You should contact your bank or credit union for more information. It includes CEBA, loan guarantees and co-lending programs for small and medium-sized businesses.
CEBA allows employers with $50,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll, including not-for-profits, to get an interest-free loan up to $40,000. If the employer repays the loan before December 31, 2022, up to 25% ($10,000) will be forgiven. If the employer does not repay by December 31, 2022, the balance is converted to a 3 year loan at 5% interest. Contact your bank or credit union.
The CERB is a federal benefit available to certain workers who have not been able to work due to COVID-19.
If you have lost your income because of COVID-19, you may be able to apply for the CERB. You will receive $500 per week for up to 24 weeks. This is taxable income, so if you can, set aside some money for tax, CPP and EI. You can apply online or by calling 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041, (if you’ve filed a tax return before 2018), 1-800-959-8281 (if you’ve never filed a tax return), 1-833-966-2099 (if you are having a problem with the online portal).
This program provides a wage subsidy for eligible employers of up to 75% of wages or $847 per week (whichever is less) for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Eligible employers include individuals, corporations (including not-for-profits and charities) and partnerships that have had at least a 15% drop in gross revenue in March and a 30% drop in gross revenue in April and May.
CanadaHelps has put together a useful guide for charities to stay informed about Canada’s COVID-19 governmental supports and programs:
Yes, unless the corporation’s by-laws say that they cannot. This applies to for-profit as well as not-for-profit corporations. Cooperatives should check to see if their by-laws allow electronic meetings.
The deadline has been extended to December 31, 2020 for charities whose return was due between March 18 and December 31. Returns can be filed using a paper copy or online:
The filing date has been extended to June 1, 2020.
The due date has been extended to September 1, 2020.
Yes, and there is no cost for either service. If you’ve already paid for the service, you can ask for a refund online.